Rolls-Royce is not only “another” risk sharing partner in the A350 program. It is the main partner of Airbus as unique engine supplier.
Eric Schulz, President – Civil Large Engines at Rolls-Royce and Rolls Royce CEO was sharing table with Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brégier and Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker last 22/Dec during the 1st Delivery ceremony.
Source: Manuel Belleli
To make sure there are no hitches, the Trent XWB engine has been through almost 11.000 hours of testing in the air and on the ground.
“By far we spent the most hours testing on this,” said Tony Wood, head of Rolls-Royce’s aerospace division.
“In terms of performance, we are very, very close to where we need to be and we already have plans to exceed this.”
Rolls-Royce is preparing for the aggressive ramp-up as Airbus is planning to go from making 2 aircraft currently to close to 10 by the end of 2018. And there is already talk of potentially increasing to as many as 15 further out.
This is an enormous industrial challenge, including at Rolls-Royce, as it struggles to make its civil aerospace business more efficient by cutting costs.
Airbus and Rolls-Royce also have to be sure their suppliers are up to the job.
Ironically, it is not the biggest who pose the greatest risk, but the smaller suppliers. “They will have to be watched closely,” says one industry executive.